The University was forced to evacuate Mendel Hall Tuesday afternoon due to a situation that resulted from a science experiment taking place on the third floor.

At approximately 3:30 p.m., students and faculty were notified via NOVA Alert that the building was closed due to several people becoming sick, which was onset by an unknown odor.

First responders were on the scene for the majority of the afternoon and into the evening hours.

At around 5:30 p.m. it was confirmed that the situation had been contained, but the building was to remain closed.

At around 7 p.m. the University was notified that Mendel Hall was reopened and students could return to the building to retrieve any of their belongings.

Radnor Police and Fire Company were on the scene throughout the afternoon and into the evening.

It was reported that one student was transported to the hospital and several other people were evaluated on the site.

It is unclear what the cause of the unknown odor was.

“All of a sudden someone came in and said they were evacuating the building so we had to unplug everything, shut the hoods and leave immediately. At that point the alarms went off and everyone was leaving the building,” sophomore chemical engineering major, Leyla Marsali, said on the scene.

“When I was outside I heard someone say their teacher had passed out and had to leave and someone else had gotten sick and passed out.”

It has been clarified that the incident occurred during a general chemistry lab period, but the actual class and the professor have not been identified.

“One student had a nose bleed and an asthma condition,” senior biology major Laura Solomon said.

Main Line Media News has reported that this student was taken to the area hospital.

“The professor in the laboratory began to feel faint, so she sat down,” Solomon said. “After the third student began to feel faint, VEMS was called and then the Radnor Police were informed.”

As stated in a news report Tuesday from Main Line Media News, the experiment that had been performed had been completed several times before without a problem.

In addition to the first student taken to the hospital, eight other individuals fell ill and were decontaminated outside of Mendel Hall.

The students were further brought to the hospital for treatment.  Main Line Media News also reported Tuesday afternoon that the chemicals involved have been ascertained, but not released to the media.



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